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ZX Spectrum Next | Nostalgia Nerd

ZX Spectrum Next | Nostalgia Nerd


[Intro sounds] Today, is a very exciting day, because after
3 years. The ZX Spectrum Next is finally here, in THIS box. Awww, it’s like being in 1983
or 4 or 5, all over again. Let’s crack this little beauty out. Awww look at it. Look at
that. It looks like a Spectrum box should look like. It’s got gloss, it’s got matt,
it’s got colours. It’s not too over-stated. It’s just got the Spectrum swished across
the box like that. Just like on previous boxes! What a thing! On the back we’ve got all sorts
of things; “The ZX Spectrum Next is the evolution of
the original Sinclair 8-bit computer that kick-started a generation of bedroom coders,
whose games shaped the way we play to this day.” “Built from scratch with dedicated hardware.
The ZX Spectrum Next boasts added features that make playing the original games a breeze,
and opens the door for brand new titles taking advantage of its improvements such as better
audio, more colours, larger memory and faster processor.” Cor-yeah! We’re talking, 3.5MHz Z80!.. That’s
the same as normal!!?. What?! What. What?! It’s got additional turbo modes. This is the unaccelerated version, hence why
I have it slightly before the accelerated version. These ones shipped first. Exclusive
games. We’ve got Dreamworld Pogi. Dungeonette. Lords of Midnight. Monkey McGee. No Mercy.
QuakeStar. Warhawk. Wonderful Dizzy! Look. This is incredible! Look at. LOOK. Look at that. It’s just… ahhhhh… ohhh can’t take the
excitement… Right. I mean, there’s a few marks on this
box. Don’t know if the handlers were a bit excited about it as well? We’ve got some damage. Oh. It’s got a nice
foam bit of padding on the top inner of the box there, to try and keep it secure. But
the packaging, has given way inside, which is a shame. You know, this must have, I don’t
know if it was Yodel who delivered it, but it’s obviously been buffeted about, and it’s
torn the box at the edge, which is a shame… look.. ohhhhh. Oh look. The keys! They. It
feels like a Spectrum should, but not crap! It feels improved, coz it’s the same sort
of mechanism, but so much nicer. There’s a bit of a mark on that key. Couple
of marks here and there. Let’s ease it out of it’s packaging. See what we have. It feels
like a solid little unit. It feels sturdy. It feels like a Spectrum 128k. There’s a few
scratches. A few other people have reported scratches on the back here and there. This
one seems to have the same scratches as a few other people have reported, which, you
know, they’re not heavy scratches, but just a bit on the back. I like this. Ho hooo. Nahahahaaa. OK, now, we also get, a box here, which, contains,
all sorts of power adaptors, depending on which country you’re in, and the power supply
itself. Which is reassuring. And the manual, now, there’s a big thing about
the manual cover being a surprise, so if you don’t want that ruined then look away now. We have this lovely, manual, which looks,
like a Spectrum manual should. It’s really nice. Nice colours as well. Got a ship whizzing
round it. It feels like a Spectrum manual, and inside it looks like a Spectrum manual,
and it’s pretty concise. So, let’s plug this beauty in, and find out
what, she can do. He, heee. Yeahhh. But first, allow me to give a short backstory,
for those unaware. The Spectrum Next is really a work of love,
born from a discussion between Henrique Olifiers and Victor Trucco. Childhood friends, who
grew up in Brazil on clones of the Spectrum, the TK90X. Even with clones, love for this
technology was strong, and by 2016, in partnership with Fabio Bellavenuto, Victor had created
TBBlue; a replacement board for the ZX Spectrum, adding SD card support and VGA output. This
became a success in Brazil, paving way for the obvious step to take it back home, to
the United Kingdom. For Victor, the obvious person to help with this, was his childhood
friend, Henrique, who by now was running the BAFTA-winning games company, Bossa Studios.
The original chat was simply around the replacement board, but this quickly led to talks about
creating an entirely new machine, assisted by none other, than the original Spectrum
designer, Rick Dickinsion. Rick almost immediately agreed to the proposal, and came up with several
concepts, based around the various original Spectrum releases. Discussion ensued, and the idea based around
arguably the best Speccy, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128+ prevailed. On hearing the exciting
news, various community members, including Sam Dyer of Bitmap Books and Chris Hill of
GamesYouLoved rallied round to ensure the machine would make it to the KickStarter phase.
I was so excited, I even made a video on it back in May 2016… Yeah, let’s skip over that one…So what’s Next? Well, it’s the Spectrum Next! clearly, I still hadn’t
grasped the concept of audio clipping back then. By 23rd April 2017, the project was
live, and would quickly become one of the most successful retro projects ever to hit
the crowdfunding platform. I managed to just get in with an EarlyBird model for the bargain
price of £165 and £10 shipping, bringing it exactly to the cost of the original 48k
ZX Spectrum on first release. By the 4th December 2017, the bare bones boards
were ready, and on their way out to backers, who wanted to get tinkering, straight away.
But, for the case and final hardware, the project was clearly a larger and more unwieldy
beast than first imagined. Helped along by many people, including, of course, Jim Bagley,
who programmed many excellent titles back in the day, updated would come with a reassuring
frequency, and as they say, if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly. And so,
almost 3 years from the kickstarter launch, this machine would finally work it’s way to
me, landing in my hands on the 13th February 2020. So let’s take a closer look at this labour
of love, and see whether it was really worth the 3 year wait. [Soothing sounds of elegance] This is one beautifully designed computer,
but then, I would expect no less from the incredible Rick Dickinson. Responsible for
some of the most iconic machines of the 80s. But yet, the project is tinged with sorrow,
given that Rick himself never got to see the final machine, passing away on April 24th
2018. But there’s joy that we get to experience one of his majestic creations one final time.
The Next very much borrows from the 1984 + and 1985 Sinclair 128k model. It’s width and
length are very similar to the original machine, yet depth, now gives way to the slenderness
of the original Spectrum. Angles, give way to flowing curves, again, merging features
of the original model, with that of the + designs. What we end up with is a divine looking
machine, which grabs your eye as much as any of the previous designs did. If we go back to the packaging, we can see
that it, also, borrows from the 1985 model. We have an angled, yet partial view of the
machine cutting through a coloured background, with the Sinclair logo at the bottom, and
recognisable Sinclair font at the top. Although the new having a slightly more squished effect,
with wider kerning. It just works, and really conveys what this project was all about. The
experience. The experience of opening a treasured box of real hardware, with almost endless
possibilities. Going back to the manual, we see a harking
back to the original Spectrum 48k manual. With this futuristic sci-fi design, which
just fires your imagination, sparking up wondrous worlds, all of which could be re-created in
your new boxed collection of circuitry. Although I loved the Dorling Kindersley manuals of
the + machines, with their full colour photos and pages of BASIC experimentation, the covers
were bland in comparison, and this machine just feels like it has plucked all the best
parts of the previous Spectrum’s into a final package. It already feels like a true successor,
and that’s before getting hands on with it. At this point, I don’t even feel like I have
the words to express the visual and tactile emotions the keyboard brings. Again, modelled
on the + model, it brings all that made it special, and makes it into a joyful experience,
without deviating too far from the source. We’ve got all the relevant shortcut commands
on the keys, which any Spectrum owner will know are pretty essential, but in operation,
we’ve got a much more forgiving depth, a kinder amount of travel, than the unique Keyboard
that Sinclair built. You can touch type here, with fluidity. That just wasn’t really possible
on the original machines. And the clickyness, is, well, it’s spot on. If we examine the sides, we begin to get a
feel for what the Next is really about. Those embedded colour bands, are such a distinct,
yet familiar feature, and I know it took the team several attempts before perfecting the
colours. The front reveals two joystick ports, thanks to stretch goals, and the campaign
smashing through it’s £250,000 target, to reach £723,390. The left has a couple of
buttons, which we’ll discuss later, an SD slot and a Reset switch, in exactly the same
place you’d find on the 80s models. The rear exposes a PS/2 port, VGA connector, audio
out and microphone in sockets, an HMDI plug, 9V DC in, and an expansion slot behind the
plastic. Accelerated models will also have a mini HDMI out and micro USB ports, but this
model can be expanded, which again, we’ll get to. Well, I guess it’s time to plug it in, and
see what she can do.I’ll be running the HDMI through my capture
card, and then back to this LCD TV to begin with. We’ve got a rather nice branded SD card already
in the slot, so let’s see what’s on it. Oh, by the way, just like previous Spectrum
models, there’s no power switch. I have no issues with this. Where I come from, we rip
plugs out of sockets to power things off. Now, initially, I couldn’t get any image from
the HDMI port whatsoever. In the end, I tried a VGA cable, and then noticed you could press
“D” on the boot screen to switch to Digital Out. I guess I should have read the manual
to begin with. Anyway, I switched it back to HDMI, so I could
grab some clear footage of what’s going on. We can play with some CRTs later. WHEEEYYY! [Jazzy] So, after choosing the ouput mode, in this
case 576i at 50Hz through HDMI, THIS is what greets us. Welcome to NextZXOS, presented
in a more than familiar manner. In fact, it’s even running in the same 256×192 resolution
as the original machines. What follows is several pages of text informing us how to
use the Next Operating System. What type of files we can load. How to start tape files.
How to access things like the Multiface. But rather than reading through all this, how
about we actually delve into it. You can disable this message by pressing “D” on the final
screen. The Next has a file called Autoexec.bas, that is essentially the same as the DOS autoexec.bat,
and so to disable this intro, it simply renames the file autoexec.bas to autoexec-welcome.bas.
You can create your own autoexec.bas and put whatever commands you want in there later. We’re then greeted with a screen, which will
both look AND sound, more than familiar to users of 128k Spectrum models. The up and
down arrows will select a menu item, whilst the left and right will switch between clock
speeds of 3.5Mhz, 7Mhz and a whopping 14MHz. But before we get caught up in all of this,
we should update to the latest distribution of NextZXOS, so let’s do that. Pull the SD card firmly out of the Next. Place
it in your computer. Navigate to “specnext.com”. Click on Latest Distro, click the download
link. Save that file somewhere, then unzip it into the root directory of your Next SD
card, being sure to select “Yes to all” when it comes to overwriting. Excellent, that’s
that done, but whilst we’re here, let’s install CP/M on the card as well. CP/M, the most popular Z80 based operating
system of the 80s, is built into the Next’s menu. Allowing you to run all kinds of programs
from that era. But for licensing reasons, it’s core, cannot be shipped with the system.
So head to this address. Download the zip file. Extract it to the nextos/cpm on the
SD card, and Bob is your bloomin’ Uncle. Right, put the SD card back in the Next. Plug it
back in, and you should get this message. Hold down U and the Next will update to the
latest distribution. When it’s done, hold down the reset button
for more than a second, and it will cold boot back to where we were before, but with a nice,
shiny, new Core. Which now has a even more whopping 28MHz mode, and a different menu
setup. This is essentially the home page for NextZXOS,
written by Garry Lancaster. It’s a descent of the first real Spectrum Operating System,
+3DOS, which appeared on the final Spectrum+3 Models. Before that, tapes were king, disks
were unlikely and BASIC was really the only way to get about. Just like DOS, NextZXOS
has a command line interface, which is really a cleaner version of the BASIC interface.
It uses commands, directories and drive letters you might be familiar with. For example, from
here, you can list the contents of the SD card, change to a different directory in it,
and execute files. I mean, you can do a WHOLE lot more, such as deleting files, renaming
them, even mounting virtual disks. In addition to the standard C: drive and M:, being the
RAM disk that you’d find on a +3 model. The manual contains all this information under
Chapter 20, which becomes increasingly handy as you go on. Let’s reset and try NextBASIC. Now here, we
have a much more powerful version of Sinclair BASIC, designed entirely around the Next.
We’ve got POWERFUL new commands such as SPECTRUM, which can, well it can a lot really. Including
switching modes, changing the colour scheme and even control the screensaver. Which out
of the box, is this. We can even use sprites, really easily too, there’s even a sprite editor!
There’s a few demo programs in the demos directory to help you get to grips with this crazy new
world. But this is really where the strength of the manual lies. There’s chapters and chapters
dedicated to BASIC in here. It’s author, Feebus Dokeose (Phoebus Dokos) has done a really
stellar job in that regard. Also, remember you can save anything you create here into
“autoexec.bas” in the SD Card’s NextZXOS directory and it will execute on boot. OK, this time
instead of resetting, we can also press the “Edit” button. This will bring up numerous
options, including the ability to change the numbers of columns on screen and even automatically
renumber your BASIC code. Exit will do for now. Calculator will give us the usual calculator
interface from previous Sinclair machines. More takes us to another menu, from which
we can Load a Tape, a ROM Cart, enter good old 48K Basic, go back, or even load up CP/M.
Since we installed the files earlier, if we enter CP/M now, we will get…Yes. CP/M. What
we’re seeing here is a file in the nextzxos/cpm folder acting as a virtual drive. Of course
we can setup further virtual drives on the SD card. But there’s a lot more you can do
here. Now we’ll come back to some important bits
later. But the menu item that MOST people will use is right back at the start. The Browser.
This is a built in navigator for the SD card, and allows you to manage or execute, any of
the supported file types. Which for anyone who can’t remember, are these. The highlight
bar will change colour accordingly, for files you can open, and those you cannot. The standard distribution comes with quite
a bit to keep you busy, from classic demos stored in .tap format, to modern Next demos
stored in .nex format. To a several games from both the classic 48k and 128k eras, and
a selection of Next releases in both demo and full release format. My favourites are
the frantic shoot’em up action of Warhawk by Rusty Pixels and the more fundamental Night
Knight, ported by David Sapier. I could just while away the evening playing
this, but we have a lot to get through. This is REALLY just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t
want this video to be an hour long seminar, but nor do I want it to be a simple review,
so I’m going to cover what I consider to be, the essential information about the Next.
The things I really wanted to know, and then afterwards, find out what questions YOU wanted
answering; [Game sounds] [Cascading digital river of music] First let’s deal with connections. I’ve had
this hooked up via your standard HDMI. BUT you can also use VGA, or if you have an appropriate
cable, RGB, which will enable you to use Scart connections for example. Also, note there’s
also a slight issue, with some televisions providing power down the HDMI line to the
system memory, even when the power supply is disconnected. If this happens to you, then
hard resets can only be achieved by holding down the reset button, or, if that fails,
by taking the HDMI cord and power out to cold boot. My office is currently looking like the rubbish
dump from The Labyrinth, but I still managed to fish out this rather nice IBM LCD VGA monitor,
which gives a pretty sharp image. I though about using a CRT, but this LCD pairs well,
and it’s easier for you to see on camera. The Next has it’s own audio output, separate
from the standard EAR/MIC sockets, so I’ve plugged some speakers into that, and we’re
ready to go. Now, whenever you switch to a different output,
you’ll get this test card calibration screen. On HDMI, I can pick between the 480p 60Hz
and 576i 50Hz modes, but, with VGA output, the selection is more extensive. Some of these
modes, my monitor wasn’t happy with, even though the picture was clearly displaying.
But as long as you can see the chequered border, and there’s no flicker, you’re good to go.
I would recommend 50Hz where-ever possible, given that’s what almost all software on the
Spectrum was coded to run at, and so, should give you the least issues. Although it’s not
like the olden days, so the Next should deal with timings correctly regardless. A number
of the modes looked fine on this screen, so I plumped for the one which required the least
amount of position adjustment. And of course the nice thing about a monitor
like this, is it give you the correct aspect ratio. If you’re using a wide screen, do the
honourable thing and set the aspect ratio to 4:3. Now, this, is arguably the best way to hook
up the next. Another issue with HDMI is, due to the way it outputs, visuals will mostly,
but won’t ALWAYS be displayed correctly. Particularly more modern or demo scene programs. You can
see the issues in games like Old Tower, and it’s the same with anything that uses timing
trickery. With VGA, screen timing is intact. But with HDMI it gets scrambled to buggery,
playing havok with some of the graphical finessing. OK, let’s invite some more members to this
party. Thanks to devices like the ZX-VGA-JOY, we can hook older Spectrums up to VGA as well,
so I’ve done that. Giving us a system for comparison purposes. And look, just like the
128, the new one also has pop out feet. Although they’re no where near as tall as the 128. Now, personally, I’m keen to try some of my
old tape games on this thing. So let’s do that first. For that, you’ll need one of these cables.
You see, rather than separate mono jacks, the Next has a single 3.5mm stereo jack to
handle both the Mic and Ear signals. If you split that jack into 2 mono connections, then
you can connect up a tape player as normal. But you need to be careful that your tape
player doesn’t output a stereo signal. If it does, then you’ll need to convert that
to mono, and connect it up to the appropriate jack. Once all that’s plugged in, well, the
easiest route is to use the Tape Loader option from the main menu. Once you select that the
screen will start to flash, and you can press play on your tape. If the volume is set to
low or too high on the tape player, then the Next might have issues picking up the signal,
so you might need to adjust that. But all being well, the cassette will start to load.
If you have further loading problems, then it may be because your game requires 48k mode.
In which case select the 48K Basic option, press J, followed by two quotation marks.
Enter, and you can play the tape. If you’re still having issues, well, there’s some more
things we can try in a bit, but remember, these cassettes are old. This copy of Batman
had some spurious sound corruption half way through for example, and so wouldn’t load.
I had to source another copy. [The silence of a corrupted cassette] *Click* [Beautiful Batman Chiptune] – one of my favourites So, finally, here we’ve got Batman the Movie
running beautifully. This is the 128k version, as you can tell by the AY music. If I load
the same on the +128, then, well, it’s identical. Timings, colours, even the response time is
the same. The size difference in the border, is simply due to the way ZX-VGA-JOY outputs.
Thanks to this being an FPGA hardware implementation, rather than a emulator, lag is non-existent,
and it’s barely even perceivable, even through HDMI. What about Joysticks?! Well, with the Spectrum,
you have two varieties. The Kempston Interface was an expansion pack allowed you to use any
joysticks, or game pads which complied with the Atari Joystick port standard. However,
Sinclair also had their own interface, which, although using the same connectors, the pins
were wired differently, and actually mapped to numeric key presses. This allowed you up
use a Joystick in games without Joystick support, but also causes confusion. The Next allows
you to use either of these standards, and a few more. The left 9 pin connector is currently
setup as a Kempston port, whilst the right is setup for a Sinclair port. So, an ancient
joystick like my preference, the Konix SpeedKing will work fine, as will all these….*** It
doesn’t mean, however that you can use a Sinclair or SJS joystick in the other port, but then,
why would you want to; it just makes your Atari standard controller, appear to the Spectrum
as Sinclair controller. There’s even new joysticks, and pads, specifically made for the Next.
Like this Propad, which can make use of the Next’s ability to detect 3 distinct fire buttons,
rather than the singular of old. Any new hardware that I mention like this, will be linked to
in the video description. **Oh, also, you can use the joystick or PAD,
to navigate through the menus, which is a nice touch, if you’re going for the traditional
Spectrum on the lounge big TV, before your parent’s are awake style. Some joysticks, you’ll find have double cords,
so you can use them as either Kempston compatible, or as Sinclair compatible. Other than that,
you could use a Master System Pad, or even grab an 8bitdo, with wireless connector, which
should also work a treat. JUST DON’T TRY AND PLUG THINGS IN AND OUT
when the Spectrum is on. Otherwise, all sorts of weird things can happen. Remember, this
is really, a fragile little Spectrum at heart. OK, back to loading. If you don’t fancy loading
from cassette, you can use one of these Arduino loaders. Either of these choices, will get
around the issue of custom loaders. You see, some games, such as Joe Blade II, use a loading
method that isn’t compatible with most image formats. Of course with cassette, that’s not
an issue. The Arduino can use TZX files, which really, capture the audio of the game loading,
and so, is compatible. The Next itself, however can’t convert TZX files, because they require
some external processing to turn the file into a stream the Next can read. BUT, if you
have an accelerated Next, or you install a Raspberry Pi Zero in the case, you can get
around this issue. We’ll get to that. Now clearly, loading games from the SD card
is the easiest option. I downloaded a new bundle of Next titles Software Amusements
on itch.io. Simply dump them in the games folder, and you can load them up from the
browser. My favourite here is Montana Mike, mainly because I loved the Indiana Jones Games
on the original Speccy. But, of course, you can also copy classic
titles, which have been saved to a .tap .z80 or .dsk image, to name a few. My Next had some issues loading the odd tap
file, such as Trap Door. But that could very well be a dodgy image. If you have problems
with an image, try a Z80 or SNA file, as they are actual snapshots of a loaded game in memory.
A snapshot of Trapdoor worked just fine. You can even get troublesome titles like Joe Blade
2 to work using this method, bypassing the qwerky loading. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make
your own images, or alternatively source from excellent resource sites like WorldofSpectrum.
Simply download, plonk them on the SD card. Being sure to unzip files where necessary.
Put the SD card back in the Spectrum, and then browse to your chosen images. So, here, I’ve got an image of Outrun. It’s
easy enough to navigate to it and press return. But to ensure it loads properly, I need to
tell the Next what mode to configure itself for. So we have… 128K Mode, for 128 software
USR0 Mode, which gives you 128k of RAM, but disables +3 BASIC
48K Mode for your bog standard Spectrum Pentagon timings to provide timings appropriate
for this Russian clone and your standard Next+3 Mode Whenever you load a tape or disk image, unless
it’s a Next specific image, you’ll be asked what mode to load it in. USR0 usually has
the broadest compatibility if you’re unsure. There’s also a load of additional loading
options. You can choose whether to pause after loading, providing a soul warming tape loading
simulation. So you can sit for 5 minutes, and just imagine the world which awaits. Although
I’ve noticed that this doesn’t seem to accurately simulate the actual tape loading. For example,
on Batman the borders should be black and red here, but the simulation shows them as
multi-colour… meh, close enough. You can also change a crap load of advanced options,
and of course, change the running speed. Loading using Pi audio is for owners of an accelerated
Next, looking to load those pesky TZX files. These options are designed to limit conflicts
between old software and the Next environment, and ensure that the system can load, well
everything really. Outrun might be a drag normally, but in 7Mhz
it actually feels like Outrun. This is how the game was intended to be played. It’s just
unfortunate Ocean couldn’t optimise it enough at the time. Obvious games to try here are Chase HQ, which
works beautifully, and even more smoothly in 7MHz mode. Although it does screw up sounds
effects a bit. “Your times up!” *really fast* HAHA Depending on what games you try, speeding
the system up might help, or hinder your experience. TransAm frankly, is hilariousHAHAHA“Jesus Christ!” Stunt Car Racer is incredible. It’s programmed
so well, that even when switched to 28MHz mode, it plays exactly as it should, just
silky smooth. It really is a treat playing it like this.Hard Drivin’ is also improved, although as
unplayable as ever. Driller is more playable at 7MHz, but if you
go any higher, then the aiming cursor becomes so fast it’s unusable. Which is a shame, as
movement is silky smooth at 28MHz Interestingly, Darkside, although running
on the same engine, doesn’t have the same cursor issues. We can go all the way up to
28MHz, and the cursor is just as controllable as it was at 3.5MHz So, this is all good. Excellent in fact. But wait, you might say, how does the Next
manage multi-load images? Well, let’s go back to Outrun, I’ve got a .tap image on the SD
Card. So let’s load up the 48k mode. Now when we get to a checkpoint, the game would normally
request you to start the tape, and load the next stage, but with the Next it’s utterly
seamless. It automatically handles it, and we’re instantly in to the next round. There’s
some other trickery you can do here, if you want ULTIMATE cassette control, but we’ll
get to that in a bit. So, armed with this knowledge, you should
really be able to load whatever you need, until your heart’s content. But, if you happen
to find a game or, more likely, a piece of hardware that won’t play ball, in any of these
modes – which seems to be very little – then the machine has a neat trick. Well, a collection
of tricks that can help you. [Smooth melodies] See, whenever you cold boot the Next, you
have the option to press “Space”. This will then throw you into what the team call, it’s
Personalities. From here you can choose to load directly into a 48K Spectrum mode, 128K,
+2, +3, Russian clones, even ZX80 or 81 emulation. There’s also various ‘Looking Glass’ ROMs, which are just like your
usual ROM, but allow you to type commands into 48k BASIC, rather than using the tokenised
key commands, originally designed to save memory space. Handy for when you’ve forgotten
the placement of GOTO, or BORDER or any other command, which usually requires a combination
of key-presses to display. Once you’re in these personalities, the Next
will function just like an original machine, and when you reset, it will remain the default
selection. However, you can always press space to bring up the personality screen again,
and change your selection. If you press “E” on any of these, you can actually configure
the machine before you boot it. Allowing you to choose joystick types, whether a Covox
is installed. A Multiface. You name it. It also means, that thankfully, Next features,
like the Joystick ports still work, and whatever else you configure here. But almost all of
the usual Next functionality is now gone. This is useful for running old hardware, which
might not run in Next mode, as well as problematic software. But you won’t get access to SD loading
(without a separate DIVMMC Interface), or incredibly useful features, such as this NMI
button on the side. In Next mode, press that, and you get this handy little menu. This is
emulator like functionality, within an FPGA environment. It’s amazingly well implemented. We’ve got all sorts of options here. You can
save a snapshot of the system’s memory. Allowing you to effectively save a game, wherever you
are. Classic modes will save as .sna format, whilst Next snapshots, save as .snx, as you
might imagine, they’re not cross compatible. But both pretty useful. You can POKE a game,
by loading a .pok file. I’ve put a link in the description to a massive collection of
these, allowing you to cheat your way, through even the most unfair titles… [Clicking]…or you can just
take a screenshot, if that’s your thing. If you want more control of multi-loaders,
or just like to feel like you’re using a REAL cassette. Perhaps, you want to change sides
of a tape, then the NMI menu allows you to select a different image for input. So you
can switch between sides, A, B or even different tapes till your heart’s content. It even allows
to browse that image and choose a specific point to load from. Clever stuff. Although
the game, if programmed well, will search for the specific part of the game it needs. We also get Debug tools, a onscreen Keymap,
and settings, which allows you to change the Joystick input types. **Including selecting
whether you’re using a Mega Drive pad, to take advantage of it’s 3 buttons, Turn scanlines
on. Changes timings, the screen output frequency, change the Direct Memory Access from Z80 to
Next mode, even change the Keyboard type. Everything feels like it’s here. It’s so well
done. Pressing NMI along with different number keys
will also allow you tweak most of these options in game, without having to go through the
menu. Such as changing the game speed. You can even double the output resolution by pressing
NMI and 2. Don’t do this with an old TV though. It’s not going to end well. You might notice, that nearby, is also a DRIVE
button. This has the main purpose of being a divmmc nmi button, for use under ESXDOS,
which you’re unlikely to need, unless you’ve used it before, in which case, you don’t need
me to tell you what to do. Oh, and if you happen to brick your system, you can hold
the Drive and NMI button on boot, and it will automatically load the updater module from
the SD card. These guys have really thought of everything.Next up (excuse the pun). ROM Packs. Well
as we saw earlier, there’s a handy menu selector to load them. Simply take the plastic panel
off the expansion slot on the back of the Next. Insert a relevant interface. Plug the
cart in, and away you go. The Next will automatically connect up the expansion port circuity, and
then disconnect it again when finished. Lovely job. BUT remember, never plug expansion packs
in when the Spectrum is on, as you can damage the hardware, even with the Next’s clever
method of powering off the edge connector when it’s not expected to be in use. ROM packs
will also work in compatible personalities. Just like Microdrives, if that’s your thing.
I don’t have any myself to test with, but I’m assured they work beautifully. This goes
for a lot of old hardware, especially in a relevant personality. As they’re designed
to prevent old hardware conflicting with any of the Next hardware, which might be using
the same resources. This is both a limitation and strength of the FPGA style implementation. In fact, pretty much any hardware you had
for the original Spectrum, regardless of it’s model, can be used with the Next, one way
or another. If you’ve got a Covox, Specdrum or Sounddrive, then the Next has built in
functionality for that, so you don’t even need to plug in the interface. For other peripherals,
you add add the ROM onto the SD card, and also, acquire that functionality. The levels
of flexibility here are enormous. One thing THAT it is lacking however, is the
128’s serial port, which could support midi interfaces. Now, you could grab a Cheetah
MIDI interface if that’s your thing. But as it stands, there doesn’t seem currently be
MIDI support on the Next. However, I’m sure it could be added via. the Next’s UART at
a later date if you were really keen for it. But we do have one final port I haven’t mentioned….
Of course there’s a PS/2 Keyboard and mouse port, if you want to use an external keyboard
or mouse. Perhaps with some software like NextDAW. Awwwwww yeahhhhhhhhh. Smashing out
some quality chiptunes like it’s 2020. Because the original Spectrum didn’t have all these
channels. Awwww yeeeeahhhhh. NextDAW is a Digital Audio Workstation designed
specifically for the Next. I’ve got a physical copy on SD card. You can just pop this in
the Next and it’ll load up. Now this program supports all three of the Next’s AY-3-8910
sound chips, giving a total of nine channel audio to create your latest musical masterpiece!
Now that is nice.This is all spiffing, But how about we go
back to BASICS? REAL BASIC. Well for this, I thought I’d go back to my 128 Dorling Kindersley
book, and try a nice sunrise.That’s nice. But how about we try a program that’s consistent,
without any random numbers, and compare it on the original 128. I’m going to type it
out in 48k on the Next, using the Looking Glass ROM, just to make things easier. Then
save it to tape. Load it up on a standard Spectrum 128, and compare the results.Voila! Isn’t it a thing of beauty. Pyramids. Interestingly, the Next completed it noticeably
faster than the 128. Whether that’s an artifact of the Looking Glass ROM, or the Next just
runs slightly faster, I can’t tell you, without further investigation. Maybe something we can come back to. So, I mentioned earlier than this was a standard
version of the Next. However, it’s more than possible to upgrade it to the Accelerated
version with just a few additions. So let’s get the hood off and get to work; *SPONSOR Now, before we take this apart, I just want
to thank today’s sponsor, Audible for making this video possible. Now Audible isn’t just
something I’m promoting for the sake of it, I’ve used it for ages. I listen to it, when I’m at home, through
Alexa. I listen to it when I’m in the office. It just helps me work and do things, because
I’ve got something to listen to and enjoy. I’ve been wanting to through Sherlock Holmes
for AGES. Ever since my Dad spoke about it, when I was little. But it’s only through Audible
that I’ve managed to do it. Last year I hammered through the definitive Sherlock Holmes Collection
by Stephen Fry, and it was amazing. We’re talking 70 odd hours of Audiobook, and it
only counted as 1 Audiobook credit! And you can too with a 30 day free trial,
giving you one Audiobook and 2 Audible originals. Just visit Audible.com/NostalgiaNerd or Text
NostalgiaNerd to 500 500. That’s Audible.com/NostalgiaNerd or Text NostalgiaNerd to 500 500, and get
started today! Right, let’s get back to the Next, and see
what’s inside! *SPONSOR It’s clear the Next is designed to make this
easy. There’s just a few screws on the bottom. A few screws on the board, then you can just
pull out these keyboard connectors to free the board. These are the same connectors you’d
find in a standard Spectrum, so you can put this in a Speccy case if you desire. Whilst we’re here, let’s brush over the specs.
So the main processor here in an Enhanced Z80 clocked at 3.5Mhz, but with those turbo
modes. It’s re-created in a Field Programmable Gate Array, or FPGA. This means that the original
hardware is actually recreated using programmable logic blocks, and so, although it’s not the
actual original hardware, it’s the next best thing, and certainly better than emulation. Because of this, enhancements are built into
the FPGA. We’ve got a 512 colour palette, with 256 on screen. Hardware scrolling, sprites.
3 AY-3-8912 sound chips with digital audio, and currently 1MB of RAM, housed here. My
first upgrade is going to be to double the RAM. Which is about as straight forward as
it comes. I’ve got two 512KB memory chips here, exact details in the video description.
All I need to do, is align the notch in the bottom corner, to the cut out corner of the
chip holder, and press it firmly in. You’ll notice there’s a gap to the side of the chip,
that’s fine, ignore it. Next is the WiFi module. This is a ESP8266
ESP-01, and it fits exactly into this socket here. Again incredibly easy. Now, I could also install the Real Time Clock
and an on-board speaker, but I’m saving that for another video on my extra channel. Today
is just getting the essential upgrades in. Now, if you’ve got a Raspberry Pi Zero, you
can also install the accelerator board. I’ve got a Pi Zero W, which works absolutely fine.
Now, you’ll need to solder a female header onto the Pi, to connect it to the Next’s male
connector. I thought I’d save myself some time, and use a solderless hammer kit. With
these you simply tap the header into the board, and it forms a mechanical joint. BUT, for
the love of god, don’t do what I did, and install the header like this. It actually
needs to be put on the back of the board for the Next. This meant some serious faffing
before I was able to re-install it correctly. Also, because of this, I really wouldn’t recommend
using a hammer kit, as you’ll need to put the board component side down to install,
and you’ll risk damaging components on the board. Anyway, once you’ve got that done, and so
make sure it’s flush with the board, you’ll need to put the Zero image onto an SD card.
Go back to the Distro page at SpecNext.com, navigate to the bottom, click on the NextPi
Distribution Download link, save this file. Then extract the contents of the archive.
Then extract the contents of the subsequent archive, and you’ll have this. Now you’ll
need an imaging program, such as BalenaEtcha, which you can get from here. Download that,
run the file, and you’ll have this screen. Now you can select the NextPi image, which
in this case is called NextPi_20190929.img. Then select the SD card, and you can write
the image to the Micro SD card. Pop that in the Zero. Push the zero in the Next’s connector,
and BOOM, job done. ***You now have a NextPi installation by D. Rimron-Soutter that handles
SID files, TZX files and even Xbox controller support. Now, we can reassemble. Oh, be sure to remove
this bit of plastic first though. Now, the board should slip back in, and once sealed
up, our exposed Zero connectors should be visible on the back. Lovely job. Let’s plug this bessie back in. Now, on boot, you’ll see our increased memory
available on the bottom of the menu. Nice Let’s see if we can load TZX files now. Well,
would you look at that. The Next is now making use of the Pi Zero to unpack and stream the
TZX audio, meaning we get a completely authentic loading experience. None of that simulated
nonsense. Even the Pacman loading game works absolutely fine. Now the accelerator’s original job was also
to, errr, accelerate, but due to the Kickstarter campaign doing so well, an expanded FPGA was
utilised, allowing for faster modes built in. Therefore, it’s not that necessary now,
but further uses for it are planned in the future. I had a brief chat to Henrique, who’s
a lovely guy, in fact, the entire Next community seem to be, and he mentioned a goal of having
advanced maths capabilities, such as 3D processing. Can you imagine an OpenGL engine available
for the Z80. That would be amazing! OK, let’s get this thing ONLINE BABAY. To do this, navigate to Demos/ESP, and select
Wifi.bas. Then type RUN. Press 1 to set your SSID, then once you’ve put the name and password
in, you should be connected! Now there are various things you can do, but let’s try NXTEL.
Head to DEMOS/NXTEL, open NXTEL.NEX and we get this magnificence. If you don’t get this,
then try the alternative version in the NXTEL2 directory. Now, what can we do here? Well we can get
access to various NextTel servers, which I believe are currently run by members of the
glorious Spectrum Next community. It’s presented in Teletext format, and you can find anything
here from BITBoozle to the news. I could dedicate an entire video to this alone, but already,
this video has run on for long enough. So let’s answer a few of your questions and
then wrap this up, finally; So, earlier in the week, I asked you, what
questions you wanted to know, about the Spectrum Next. So let’s go through a few of them; “How does it compare to the Sam Coupe, and
which major publishing houses are going to be supporting it?” Now many would consider this, the true successor
to the Spectrum. Manufactured in 1989 by Miles Gordon Technology and Designed to have true
compatibility with the ZX Spectrum, it featured a Z80B CPU, clocked at 6MHz. It also had 256KB
of RAM as standard, but really, it lacks behind the Next in every category. Regarding software houses, yes, Thalamus have
included some games on the Next distribution and are planning new versions of their games. “How good is the manual?”, Excellent! “How stable is it?”. Very stable, I didn’t
have… there was a couple of glitches, but you know, hardly any, I’ve been using this
all week! “Why does adding a Z or X on anything make
it automatically cooler?” I guess because they’re the least used letters,
so, the less we see them, the cooler they appear. It’s like anything in life. “How many of the classic Spectrum games from
back in the day will be getting a glow up for the Next?” I posed this to Henrique, and he said, yes,
two versions of Lords of Midnight are included on he SD, and there are people working on
a new version of Atic Atac. Lemmings has demo version. Rex will get a Reboot and Nodes of
Yesod. “Does it make Jet Set Willy any bloody easier?” [RAPID SOUNDS] No, no it doesn’t! “Does it blend?” This isn’t the early noughties! This isn’t
‘Frog in a Blender’, I’m not going to stick this in a blender, that would be insane. “What is feels like” It feels like…. your Muu… “How is it for a casual gamer who wants a
quick injection of nostalgia?” Pretty good, I mean, out of the box, you get
quite a lot, as it stands, so yeah, go for it. “Does it play Commodore 64 games?” GET OUT. JUST GET OUT OF HERE. “Basically, all I want to know, is when can
I buy one on Amazon?” Another for Henrique, There are no plans to
take the Next, we make it at basically cost, no margin. To take it to shops would make
its price jump beyond the unreasonable, unless we cut costs my manufacturing in China, etc.
But it’s made for the community rather than profit. “I can’t think of anything serious, because
that’s already been asked, so instead, I’ll go with this. What does it’s plastic case
taste like?” It tastes like.. your muuuu “How do you actually get one, if you didn’t
back it?” You join the second KickStarter, which is
coming soon! “What exactly is the point, I would like to
know” “Why would anyone want one?” Well, let’s delve into both of those, right
now… [Melancholy music] So, it’s that fundamental question isn’t it.
What’s the point? Well, I mean, what’s the point in life? To have fun? I’ve certainly
had fun with this Next and that’s good enough for me. But if you want the wider story, then
I think there are several avenues. For some, this could simply be a programming platform
free from all the libraries, framework and constraints of modern day systems. It’s like
the 80s again, where you plug in a machine, and you can instantly start coding. I for
one, miss that. There’s something about that brutal simplicity, which just draws you in,
and then, because this isn’t a complex beast, you can actually gain an understanding of
what you’re doing. How, even using a high level language like BASIC, your commands effect
the system. It’s an elegance we lack these days. Sure, you could just use a retro system for
that, but this is a new machine, with a new community, excited to see what they can produce.
It’s not a rehash. It’s current, but grounded in the past. Of course, it also calls to your nostalgia
bone. If you have one of those. We always look back on previous decades with rose tinted
spectacles, then when we get hold of the hardware again, it can sometimes be a disappointment.
It’s clunky. The output looks crap. It’s not how we remember it, because we adapt our memories
to meet modern day expectations. The Next creates a bridge to solve that problem, and
for the casual retro gamer, it makes the whole experience fun once again. You know, this is a machine for tinkerers,
for creative types for those who want real hardware, rather than a gimmicky retro rehash,
with a shiny emulator box shoved inside it. You can play with this machine, you can add
ROMs, you expand it, pick apart the code and really, gain a broader understanding for computing.
There’s something fundamental about being able to actually see the pixels on screen,
about being able to watch code execute, and then dive into the debugging tools, that makes
it so much easier to understand than your high definition, app running device of today. I think it’s great, and it’s a machine I’m
keeping in my house rather than the office. It’s just that type of computer. If you missed out on the first Kickstarter,
Henrique reckons the second one will appear towards the end of March, so keep your eyes
peeled, and keep yourself updated on SpecNext.com, which has regular and consistent updates,
as well as links to upcoming games, and all sorts. Also, if you can, join the ZX Spectrum
Next Facebook group, which I’ve found an invaluable resource. If demand is really high, maybe, just maybe,
we’ll see this amazing Spectrum handheld come to fruition as well. I really hope it does,
but from what I’ve heard, I’m not holding out hope. It’s unfortunate that Sir Clive Sinclair himself
didn’t have anything to do with these actual machines. His name may be on the case, but
the actual ownership of that now lies with Sky, having been bought by Amstrad in the
mid 80s and then sold on. Thankfully, they allowed this project to use the name, thanks
to a charitable donation. Thanks to Henrique, Jim Bagley, Phoebus, Mike,
Allen and the entire team for bringing this together. Also, thanks to the ZX Spectrum
Next Facebook group community and all the people, who I haven’t mentioned, who helped
bring this project to life and keep it going. The back of the box sums it up beautifully… PREPARE TO FALL IN LOVE WITH A COMPUTER ALL
OVER AGAIN. I have, and I’m sure you will too. Thanks
for watching, and have a great evening. [ONLY YOU in Next style] Yes, OK, I deviated from heritage and put
an inline power switch in… don’t tell anyone… also, link in the description. Bye!

87 comments on “ZX Spectrum Next | Nostalgia Nerd

  1. SO amazing project ! Who could imagine. A NEW 8Bit computer in 2020 ! And made by 5 Gifted brains ! So proud that 3 of them are Brazillians ! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This will probably sound daft but this video made me feel so at home. It's a part of my childhood I had somehow forgotten. We never owned a ZX Spectrum but I remember now that a friend did and every chance I got for an excuse to play it we were, Head over heels, Dizzy, those are just two of the ones I remember spending a lot of time with.

    I'd love to get this system now and genuinely spend a lot of time with it, I feel like I'd get right into coding, no matter how dated it may be, and the Next Daw seems brilliant, as a sound engineer and musician I'd just push it to its limits and find that spark I've been missing in my music lately.

    I honestly wish I could sit down with you and have a proper guided tour of how to do everything because you seem to love it just as much as I know I will, and this video has more than sold it to me. I've just moved to a new place and was considering getting a CRT for my bedroom to game on and get my old (salvageable) VHS tapes to watch, which I've been more than excited about (plus I know my cats can't knock over a hefty CRT when they go mental haha).

    Genuinely enjoyed this video man, I'd love to see more about this once you've fiddled with it more, even a crash course on how to do certain things or some basic coding.
    Sorry for the long comment, this just really hyped me up

  3. Here's how Sinclair could have dominated UK/Europe/The World! home and general business PC markets…. Instead of release the Spectrum 128 and QL as two separate computers they should have released 1 computer, for around ยฃ199.99 to ยฃ279.999 with the upgraded Motorola 68008 of the QL but keeping the Zylog Z80 of the Spectrum.. Many computers were dual CPU + other bespoke chips (esp. Commodore). The spectrum only had 16kb graphics memory and QL only had 32kb yet there was 128kb available… 64kb for graphics and 64kb for code and other data would have been better all round at the time… The second chip could be used as a graphics coprocessor. Also the longer case of the QL, with its double microdrive extension should never have been made, instead the entension should have been a separate addon for ยฃ149.99 with lots of games and/or business software bundles… Instead Sinclair didn't upgrade the spectrum and were snobby about games (the spectrums main market) so made the QL, which though faster and better in many ways did not upgrade the graphics enough… Should have been at least 512×256 x 16 colors instead of 4 and released on time in 1984.

  4. I had a zx81 back in the day…the only computer I could afford…so I tried to make it do things and I wrote software for it. I expanded the keyboard to something workable, the memory to 48k and added a graphics board…but then I had to have a custom power supply and wired it up backwards and blew it all up. But I got another one…fast forward 38 years and the spectrum came and went and I missed the boat on that. I had high hopes for micro drives and some of the new models that came out. But I got into other things. Now I would like to get back into that simple programming environment again…but yea I don't want that membraine keyboard and I don't want source something better keyboard wise for the old hardware…this is PERFECT.
    Just got wait for the second kick starter.

  5. clive sinclair would never have mentioned 'games' as a sales argument on the box. much less in the same sentence as his own name. lol.

  6. Coooool ๐Ÿ™‚
    By the way … the background music at the beginning sometimes sounded like a floppy drive working ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Mine also had dirty fingerprints on the box and the inner was also damaged. I think the packers had dirty hands and were too rough.

  8. This is the real deal and a great way for people to get a genuine Spectrum experience minus the painful tape loading. It's also a perfect example of crowfunding as had this been a commercial product it would have never have worked or would have been nerfed in some way to increase profits. I hope the Next team do make a profit as they definitely deserve it. With the experienced gained from this project they could totally do a C64 Next. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. If I can recall correctly 128k version of Out Run loaded all circuits whereas 48K version you had to load them individually.

  10. Looks like you got it just in time before the supply disruptions in China. Well done! (don't pop those packaging bubbles – each one is a little cough). Curious why they went for a PS2 mouse port instead of standard USB.

  11. Great video and very informative. Answers my question from Twitter as well so I'm signing up for the next (ha!) Kickstarter. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Isn't there already a Spectrum hand held – The Vega+….I'll get my coat.

    Seriously I wish someone would make a decent speccy handheld.

  13. Thank you very much I received my Next last week with great excitement. I agree with you that it is a beautifully designed machine with a huge amount of attention to detail. Over the last few days I have sorted out box loads of Sinclair hardware and software that has been in my loft untouched for at least 20 years, and am now having so much fun. There is so much going on in my head about all the things I want to do with the machine immediately, but I must slow down and focus ๐Ÿ™‚ In my haste I missed some important and useful functions that you highlight here, so thank you. I too am upgrading my base version, so it was was very helpful to see you do this too. Originally I saw the Next as a machine that would allow me to do my old Spectrum stuff in a neat modernised package – e.g in-built, snapshot SD card, joystick ports, and connectivity to a modern monitor. I now realise it is a lot more than just this, and there are many "new" things I can do with it. I can't praise the people who made this happen more than enough.

  14. Now thats how you recreate an old machine, what an incredible bit of design and engineering. Puts those crap vega things to shame.
    Even though I have no use for one of these your video has got me thinking of getting one just to tinker with.

  15. I'm only 10mins in, but this is SO exciting, I want one!

    EDIT: Finished. This is one beautiful machine. Thanks so much for going into all the detail. I'll definitely be looking out for that 2nd Kickstarter.

  16. Sad Speccies lol even I grew up on the C64/Amiga, Atari ST, Tandy, BBC Acorn but would not ever waste my money or go back to that crap, yeah some good game from the 80/90 still play…. That's why we have emulators ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  17. Im buying one now after watching this brill nerd vid ( sorry for the nerd bit ) im a 80,s man loved my text adventures and still do ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. It's a dam shame it not in Argos or Game.This is the Amiga version of the Speccy if you think about it its maybe what the QL could of become,I never had a Speccy in the 80s,I had a C64 and Like my THEC64 Maxi.. ๐Ÿ™‚ The Next dose looks like a Toast Rack.. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like the Amstrad's version of the Spectrum +2 and +3,There plus 3 is better and a nice black.
    Anyone remember the Codemasters CD 30 Games Pack.. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have one for the C64.. ? https://spectrumforeveryone.com/2017/06/inside-codemasters-cd-games-pack/

  19. 83? 84? EH? Spectrum was out in 1982.
    ThE NExt was a concept in the late 1980's!!'90's
    NOPE, I am wrong, that was an APPLE thing in the mid 1990's.. GET An ORIGINAL: NA<ME!

  20. This guy doesn't fit..
    "there are a few marks on the box"!
    Most Brand New SPECTRUMS game with crushed torn boxes that smelled mildly of cheap cigars and mouse piss.

  21. Cringe
    The ZX Speccy was the first thing in our house where the contents was WAY more exiting than the BOX!!
    Even after we realised that it was ANOTHER box.. but one that DID MAGiC (Well, it did Hungry Horace.)…

  22. Those keys aren't like a Spectrum keyboard because they aren't RUBBER!
    If they are an improvement on the 128, then they should be microswitched or something.. as they were like lazy fudge that had been packed too hard..

    EDIT.. GOOD KEYBOARD.. (if not a Rubber One)

  23. Can we get NextZXOS for windows etc.?
    As it seems to be a very expensive emulator in an expensive box which also needs a companion PC… so…
    er…

  24. Really good review of the Next, have been playing on mine a lot since receiving it. Have been trying the different FPGA cores too, my Next is currently in NES mode lol. The surprise showing off of the handheld Next I made for Jim was cool as well.

  25. Is there any actual technical reason it couldn't run a C64 core? It seems to have a lot in common with things like the MiST and MiSTER… I get the nice out-of-the-box experience, which really looks great, but an integrated device with a keyboard and joystick ports and a good-sized FPGA could do other things!

  26. Hmmmmm, even more retro-goodness! I watched this while drinking a mug of tea made with an official #NostalgiaNerd tea bag he kindly sent me! Thanks Pete for both the tea bag and the great video!

  27. This and a checkmate a1500 for my (currently unexpanded) A1200 are on my wish list more than a new Xbox or PS5 could ever dream!

    …shame I'm saving up for a mortgage deposit ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

  28. Jesus dude. after you process your audio, you need to reduce the average level to -18 DBFS. got blasted before I could turn it down

  29. cant wait for the next kickstarter, i had one of these ordered, but due to financial difficulties had to sell my pledge.. i hate it now lol.. nice system, brings back memories.. want one. lol have fun with your new toy

  30. Love and appreciate your videos! I'm 45 and the best years were spent playing my Speccy 128k and Amiga 500. Man, those memories… ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. The ZX spectrum introduced me to video games being the age of 10 years old. Me and my brother's would play it way too much so our dad would hide the cables. I remember playing games like space Invaders , caves of Doom and jet set Willy. Those were the days.

  32. I hope the guys over at "8-bit Guy" watch this to prepare their "Commander X16" project, which is very similar to this in many ways.

  33. I live in the UK but only found out about this machine 3 days ago i cant believe i missed my chance of getting one, i know they're going to do a second kickstarter but its still annoying that the machine i grew up on had a new lease on life (with some massive improvements and a big boost) and i wasnt aware, i'm so sad that i'm going to go curl up into a ball until the second coming.

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